CARTHAGE Keshara Moore has such a passion for the sport of soccer that she rarely leaves the field of play.
In fact, Moore, a standout senior defender, has played in nearly every minute this season for Carthages girls soccer team.
Shes one of those kids you never take out of a game and she doesnt want to come off the field, Carthage coach Marty Weaver said. Shes one of the best defenders weve ever had here and is also one of the most complete players ... Shes a special player.
I love it, ever since I started playing soccer I just couldnt stop, Moore said.
Before Moore joined the schools soccer program, she had played mostly at forward, but as a quick study has emerged as one of the regions top defenders.
Im happy with it this way and I enjoy it, Moore said. Even when Im tired, I just keep pushing myself.
After anchoring the defense at sweeper last year, Moore moved up to stopper and made the transition a successful one.
One of the things I like about her is her consistency, Weaver said of Moore, who is in her second season as team captain, as well as the poise she has on the field. Shes very calm and poised and her demeanor is the same every game.
By playing at stopper, Moore is a vital contributor to the Comets transition game by moving the ball up field and distributing passes to help spark the teams attack.
Its a little more offensive position for us this year, she said. Because this year weve had a hard time finishing and scoring, so this year he moved me up to try and get more opportunities to do that.
Said Weaver: Shes very good at getting the ball, running and getting past the midfield line and getting the ball into the offensive third. Shes very strong with that.
Her aggressiveness in a sense helps bolster the defense as Carthage has allowed only nine goals through 13 games this season.
I try to protect the ball the best I can, she said. I dont stop a lot, so when people try to make moves on me or cut behind me or something like that, I just keeping watching the ball and dont fall for those kind of moves.
Backstopped by sophomore goalie Haley Ryan, the Comets have posted six shutouts, with each gem coming over the course of their past seven games, including one each against Frontier League A Division foes Watertown (0-0 tie), Indian River (1-0) and Immaculate Heart Central (2-0).
Weve done really well defensively and its nice to get those shutouts, Moore said.
Moore is a relative newcomer to the area soccer scene. As a member of a military family, she moved from El Paso, Texas before her sophomore year, but has taken a liking to the north country.
Shes also a strong leader, Weaver said. Shes very highly respected by the kids.
Moore would like to play soccer in college but as yet is still undecided about her plans.
A member of the National Honor Society, she does know she wants to work toward a degree in criminal justice and eventually work in that field.
I want to be a paralegal, just like my mom, said Moore, whose favorite subject in school is social studies and has a particular interest in the history of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Shes big on athletics, but she pushes me to keep up my grades.
For now, Moores goal is to lead Carthage (7-4-2, 6-3-2) to a strong finish, including making a postseason run. Last year, the Comets won a first round sectional game and advanced to the quarterfinal round.
This is the closest the league has been since Ive been here, she said. Its been competitive and that should help us get ready for sectionals. Were looking forward to it.